Socialist Worker

PCS must step up the action to beat the government

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2353

Some 300 members of security staff at the Houses of Parliament in central London struck for 24 hours over changes to their shift patterns from 6am on Tuesday of this week. They are members of the PCS union

Some 300 members of security staff at the Houses of Parliament in central London struck for 24 hours over changes to their shift patterns from 6am on Tuesday of this week. They are members of the PCS union (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Civil service workers in the PCS union’s public sector group began a series of walkouts on the day of the queen’s speech last week. It is part of a dispute against cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions.

PCS workers in the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Manchester walked out at 11am on Wednesday of last week. The action continued with a walkout by 150 National Archive workers.

The rolling industrial action is part of a national campaign taking place over a 10-week period leading up to 20 June.

Workers at the Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs were set to strike on Wednesday along with other sections. There were also set to be strikes in Scotland from Monday to Wednesday.

The dispute will be central to the discussion at the PCS group and national conferences in Brighton next week. 

The walkouts are disruptive  for bosses as they have to get scab labour to cover for an hour. But they need to be bigger to build workers’ confidence.

Dave Owens, a PCS member in the Department for Work and Pensions, said, “Members going into the conference need to beef up the campaign and increase the pressure on the government.”

He stressed the need to link up with other union activity. “Now’s a good time to co-ordinate action with the NUT in the autumn,” he said.

The union needs to call a strike on 26 June when George Osborne announces new cuts in his comprehensive spending review.

This has been submitted as an emergency motion to conference.


Socialists elected to union executive

All four Socialist Worker supporters who stood for positions on the PCS union national executive committee (NEC) were successfully elected last week.

Sue Bond was re-elected vice president and Paul Williams and Andy Reid were re-elected to the NEC. They will now be joined by Marianne Owens.

The four thank Socialist Worker readers for their help.


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Tue 14 May 2013, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2353
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